Twenty-two years ago that day, Anil Kumble was only the second bowler in cricket history to win all ten wickets in one inning of a friendly against Pakistan in Delhi.
Anil Kumble achieved his “Perfect Ten” against Pakistan on February 7, 1999. (Reuters Photo)
- Anil Kumble finished with the bowling numbers of 10/74 from 26.3 overs
- Kumble emulated the English weirdo Jim Laker by picking all 10 wickets in one inning
- Laker had won against Australia 10 for 53 at Old Trafford in Manchester in 1956
Indian legend Anil Kumble entered the record books on February 7, 1999 when he completed a perfect 10-wicket move in a friendly against Pakistan to mimic English off-spinner Jim Laker. Laker had recorded a staggering 10 for 53 against Australia at Old Trafford, Manchester in 1956.
India had lost the first Test of the two-game series at Chennai by a narrow 12 runs and the hosts were in a must-win situation ahead of the 1999 Delhi Test. The Kargil War added to the sporting drama.
India had Pakistan set a goal of 420 runs in the game and visitors had a steady start as openers Shahid Afridi and Saeed Anwar completed 101 runs for the first wicket. Kumble returned epoch-making numbers of 10/74 in 26.3 overs to give India a remarkable 212-run win over arch-rivals Pakistan at the Ferozeshah Kotla grounds in Delhi.
# On that day in 1999, #TeamIndia Spin Legend @ anilkumble1074 became the first Indian bowler and second overall to scalp all 10 wickets in a test innings.
Check out the awesome bowling display pic.twitter.com/OvanaqP4nU
– BCCI (CCBCCI), February 7, 2021
“You don’t want to achieve a ‘perfect ten’ as a cricketer. I would ascribe the events of February 7, 1999 to fate,” Kumble told the BCCI website in 2014.
Later, in an exclusive conversation with India Today at India Today Mind Rocks 2015, Anil Kumble revealed what was going on in his head that fateful day as he approached the landmark.
“When I picked up my six wickets, I came back after the tea break – as I had been bowling all the time from lunch to tea. During the break, I sat down and thought to myself, this is a chance for me to improve on my best so far. ” Test that was a seven-wicket move. I went back out and then I took seven, and then eight and nine happened in two deliveries. Then it dawned on me maybe and more my teammates that I can pick all 10, “said Kumble.